Garwnant Visitor Centre sits in the heart of this beautiful forest and is the starting point for walking trails, mountain biking routes for junior riders and a fully accessible trail for wheelchair users and buggies.
There's also a play area, low ropes course and two puzzle trails plus a café to relax in and enjoy fresh local produce and views.
There are picnic tables around the main car park and along the walking trails – some have metal frames for holding disposable barbeques.
Schools and Community Groups can come and join the Ranger and explore the forests around Garwnant. Educational and fun visits tailored for all needs.
Fishing is not permitted on the Garwnant site but you can buy a permit to fish in reservoirs nearby that are managed by Dwr Cymru Welsh Water.
Permits may be bought from the ticket machines on site. The cost of a permit varies according to location, size of catch, age and concessions.
There are three orienteering routes of varying ability, yellow, orange and green routes.
Forest Frenzy is a low rope assault course. Recommended ages 7-15. There is also a new play area for under 7s.
The long distance Taff Trail from Cardiff to Brecon passes through the centre, offering a diversity of splendid views.
The Willow Walk (half a mile, 1 kilometre) is a gentle all-ability trail.
The trail allows easy access to explore the forest for visitors with wheelchairs, electric buggies and pushchairs. The Willow Walk is a gentle all-ability trail with a number of stream crossings. After crossing three bridges, the trail goes through a willow tunnel on its way back to the visitor centre.
There are two other walks that start from the visitor centre:
The Wern Walk (2 miles, 3.2 kilometres).
The woodland trail takes you past the ruins of Wern Farm, which reveals this area's agricultural past. The trail returns to the visitor centre along a forest road which offers some good views along the way.
Garwnnant Puzzle Trails (half a mile, 1 kilometre).
You can discover more about the wildlife and trees that thrive in and around Garwnant by picking up a leaflet at the visitor centre. You can try either the Animal Sculpture or Accessible Tree Trail.
There are three mountain biking trails that start from the visitor centre:
Rowan Trail (550 metres, grade green)
The Rowan mountain bike trail is a green-graded (easy) trail which has been designed for junior first time mountain bikers and it can be ridden fast or slow. It starts with a warm-up in the Bike Park, and then goes up a broad single track climb. It descends down a series of berms and open turns, humps and bumps and finishes below the Bike Park.
Spruce Trail (450 metres, grade blue)
The Spruce mountain bike trail is a blue-graded (moderate) short trail designed to improve riding skills. It shares the ascent with the Rowan trail and then splits off to follow a short rhythm section. An easy drop off is followed by some steep bermed corners and the fast descent flows through more turns and a fast finish, leading back on to the shared ascent. The route then descends the Rowan Trail to finish.
Mountain Bike Skills Park (for young children; adult supervision is highly recommended)
The Mountain Bike Skills Park has a series of child-friendly obstacles designed especially to improve skills and build confidence. Riders need to be able to pedal uphill and to negotiate simple turns. All features can be ridden slowly or avoided completely and riders push their bike up the ramp and ride around each of the features in turn.
Changing places toilet
There is a Changing Places toilet in Garwnant Visitor Centre which was donated by Mountway, a company based in the nearby town of Tredegar.
People with profound and multiple learning disabilities, as well as other serious impairments such as spinal injuries, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis or an acquired brain injury, often need extra facilities to allow them to use the toilets comfortably.
Changing Places toilets are different to standard disabled toilets with extra equipment, including a height adjustable changing bench and a hoist, and more space to meet their needs.
You will need a Radar key to access the Changing Places toilet. See the Changing Places website for more information http://www.changing-places.org/the_campaign/what_are_changing_places_toilets_.aspx
Summary of facilities for disabled visitors:
Wheelchair access to the visitor centre and café.
Accessible toilets (with baby changing facilities).
Changing Places toilet (with baby changing facility).
Hearing loop in café, meeting room and information centre.
Picnic tables with easy access for wheelchairs and electric buggies.
Severe weather information.
In severe weather Garwnant will be closed due to the risk of injury to visitors or staff.
The site will be closed to the public if the Met Office issues an AMBER warning for the Merthyr area for high winds.
The site will be closed to the public and staff if the Met Office issues a RED warning for the Merthyr area for high winds.
Weather warnings are issued on the Met office website.
Any site closures will be posted on the Garwnant Visitor Centre Facebook page.
Please check the local weather forecast before you travel and, if you are in any doubt, please phone us or check our Facebook page.
Advice to visitors during wintry weather
Please take these precautions to make your visit safer and more enjoyable when the weather is wintry:
Follow directions on signs or given by Natural Resources Wales staff.
Take care in the car park - we have limited resources to remove snow and ice and you should expect to be driving on slippery surfaces immediately on leaving the main A470 road.
Wear suitable footwear and clothing.
Expect all trail surfaces to be slippery - we do not treat any of the trails around the centre or in the forest.
Bear with us if we have to operate a reduced service in the café or visitor centre if staff are unable to get in.